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Class 6 and 7 Sales Show Steeper Decline

AFTER rebounding in May, truck sales in Class 6 and 7 plunged in June to their worst month of the year in relation to 2000, according to figures compiled by Ward's Communications.

June shipments in Class 6 were 3,879 compared to 6,726 a year ago, representing a 42% decline. The year-to-date decline was 28%, compared to 24% in May.

In Class 7, the picture was slightly better. Shipments were 8,521 compared to 11,792 — a decline of 28%. For the year, shipments were down 25%.

In Class 6, the year started out with a 17% decline in January, 16% in February, 32% in March, 35% in April, and 16% in May. In Class 7, it went from a 12% decline in January to 32% in February, 23% in March, 33% in April and 19% in May. In the year-to-date classification for Class 6, June is the low-water point. In Class 7, the low point was 26% in April.

The picture is even bleaker in Class 8. Shipments were 12,980 in June compared to 21,821 a year ago — a drop of 41%, the third-largest of the year. After a 47% decline in March, it was 37% in April and 35% in May.

Declines were less severe in June for Class 3, 4, and 5, and actually showed modest increases in Class 1 (5%) and 2 (2%).

In Class 3, shipments were down 16% (9,499 from 11,374). In Class 4, they were down 16% (4,288 from 5,108). And in Class 5, they were down 32% (2,312 from 3,377).

The year-to-date losses had grown each month in Class 3, from 11% in January to 18% in February, 20% in March, 21% in April and May, but the less severe drop in June put the year-to-date decrease at 20%.

The June decline of 16% in Class 4 was the first of the year, following increases of 13%, 19%, 2%, 5% and 10%, but the year-to-date figure was a 4% increase over last year.

In Class 5, the June decline of 32% was by far the biggest of the year — topping April's 21%.

In Class 1, shipments were 482,533 in June compared to 461,473 a year ago, representing a 5% increase. It was the only gain of the year, following a May that was identical to that of 2000. For the year, the decline was 5%. The year's low point came with a 14% decline in February that dropped the year-to-date to a 10% loss.

In Class 2, the 2% increase (231,982 from 226,369) equaled the upswing in January. In between were declines of 7%, 1%, 12%, and 4%. After June's increase, the year-to-date was a 3% decline, the lowest since March.

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